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Dr. Michael Webber
 Interview: Dr. Michael Webber
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This week on Skepticality, Derek spends some time talking to Dr. Michael Webber, an alternative energy expert and advocate, based out of Austin Texas. Webber describes some of the current issues he sees related to power generation and consumption. In a time when everyone seems interested in better ways to gather and produce energy for an increasingly power-hungry world, it is good to assess all potential energy solutions—weighing their pros and cons—in the search of the silver bullet that will keep the lights on in the future.
Show Notes

– Date – May 21th, 2013
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
– Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing books, Skepticality stuff, or using our Amazon link to help us!

– May 25th is a 'psudo-holiday' for many geeks!
– May 7th, 2005 was the birth of Skepticality….

Skepticism, Past and Future [2:20]

Mystery Park, created by mystery-mongerer Erich von Däniken, opened May 23, 2003.
Planet X or Nibiru was supposed to cause catastrophe around May 27, 2003.
The Streisand effect (often beneficial to skeptics) dates from a May 20, 2003 lawsuit.
PopUpArchive is a free archive & search engine for archived audio. It can transcribe the audio to make it searchable. You can request an account in the public beta.
– Sunlight Foundation launched the Churnalism US tool on April 24. Install the Chrome browser plugin to get automatic notifications of copied text.
SkepticAction is a web site and Twitter feed that suggests simple, small activist actions that skeptics can take each day.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim’s blog.

Unnatural Virtue [7:25]

– The illusion of knowledge and related cognitive biases are discussed in various places in The Skeptic’s Dictionary and the Unnatural Acts blog.
Bill Maher’s guest on May 17 was S. E. Cupp, who claimed to know that mass shooting have declined over the past 30 years.
– An article about her on The Blaze doesn’t add much to her claim.
– Some say that mass shootings are not increasing.
– Mother Jones says there were 62 mass shootings since 1982.
USA Today says there were 146 mass shootings since 2006.
Another site lists 30 mass shootings since Columbine in 1999.
The New York Crime Commission lists 30 mass shootings since 1984. I guess w
The FBI requires 4 deaths to count as a mass killing.
– Philip Tetlock’s book Expert political judgment: How good is it? How can we know? examines the confidence and inaccuracy of pundits of all sorts.
– Bob Carroll's books include The Skeptic's Dictionary, Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!, and for kids 9 and up; Mysteries and Science: Exploring Aliens, Ghosts, Monsters, the end of the world and other weird things.
– Paperbacks of Unnatural Acts and Mysteries and Science are available from
The Skeptics Dictionary and Skeptic's Dictionary for Kids.

Skeptical Humanities [13:10]

Goin' Berserk!
– Find more informat at the website: Skeptical Humanities.

Wikipedia [19:25]

– The single most powerful skeptical tool on the Internet today is Wikipedia.
Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia Blog.
– You can find Susan Gerbic at her website.

The Odds Must Be Crazy [22:35]

The Odds Must Be Crazy.
– This week's featured story is, "Picture Perfect".
– Please visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments.
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Barbara Drescher.
– Our producer and audio engineer is Brian Hart.
– Our theme music comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity.
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles.
– The Odds Must Be Crazy can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
– Wendy Hughes is on Twitter.
– Jarrett Kaufman is on Twitter.
– Barbara Drescher is on Twitter.
– Brian Hart is on Twitter.
– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter.

Interview: Dr. Michael Webber [28:58]

– Dr. Webber of the Webber Energy Group.
– His group is deep into alternative energy solutions.
– Turning landfill gas into usable natual gas.
– Derek was mistaken about the need for better battery tech right this moment.
– You can get natural gas powered cars.
– There is a Honda Civic which can actually clean the air it is so 'green'.
What is fraking for natural gas?
– People claim that we have no idea what is in fracking liquid.
– The movie 'Gasland' made some bold and somewhat innacurrate claims.
– Fracking does NOT cause earthquakes of any noticible strength.
– The biggest issue with fracking liquid is more about the disposal of the waste.
– Dr. Webber sometimes blogs his reviews of alternative engergy documentaries.
– People should be more concerned about the air quality issues surrounding the process of fracking.
Peak oil or gas is not as much of a concern as many make it out to be, the issue is more about cost and technology.
– There are ways to 'create' petroleum, they are not able to produce enough volume currently.

Outro Music [52:20]

– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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